Workout 29: 5X5 Legs (with Video!)

Call me technologically inept, but I finally figured out how to embed videos – this will make it much easier to explain complicated moves!

My current leg protocol involves 1 week “on” with the star complex for both quads and hamstrings, 2 weeks “off” with 5X5 lifts and other workout moves.  The star complex is pretty demanding on the legs, so I felt like I could get more out of it by cycling it into my workouts instead of using it exclusively.

  • 5X5 squats and lunges (heavier weight)
  • 3 X10 thrusters and lunges with tap
  • 2 X 20 box split squats/Bulgarian lunges and 2 X 20 jump squats and jump lunges

This is basically a variation on my-go to 5-10-20 rep idea, but the sets are separated out to allow for heavier weight instead of putting them altogether in a giant set.

(1) 5 rounds of 5 reps Squats (Back and Front Squats) /Lunges (Barbell and Dumbbell)

(1.a) Start with Back squats.  I used a slightly wider stance and 165lbs, and I stopped at parallel instead of going all the way down.  Remember to keep most of the weight in your heels, but press down with your big toe to maximize your stability.  Keep your back flat and as straight as possible.

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(1.b) Then move on to barbell lunges – I used 135 lbs and alternated legs (5 reps/leg).  Step back far enough that you can lower down without putting too much weight into your front leg.  If you have too much weight in the front of your body, you will have a tendency to lean forward and/or let your knee extend far past your ankle.  When you lower, your back knee should come close to the ground, but doesn’t have to touch the floor.

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(1.c) Using the same weight, immediately move into front squats.  Rest the bar right above your collarbone and really push your elbows forward and up as much as possible.  Lower down as you would for a regular squat.

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(1.d) Finish out the 5X5 with dumbbell alternating forward lunges (5 reps/leg).  I used 40lb dumbbells in each hand.  Step forward and bend your front knee, until your back knee just grazes the floor.  Try to keep your torso upright and straight above your hips, with the weights right by your side.

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(2) 3 rounds of 10 reps Thrusters and 10 reps Lunges with Taps

For thrusters, start with the bar in front of you.  Squat down until your elbows hit your thighs, then explode up until the bar is extended overhead (like a shoulder press).  I used a 70lb bar.

For lunges with taps, lunge back, then stand and “tap” your glutes with back foot, then lower back down into a lunge.  That counts as one rep.  Alternate and repeat on the other side.  Repeat for 5 reps per side (10 total).  You can do these with bodyweight, or with a single 20 lb weight, held in both hands near the center of your chest.

(3) 2 rounds of 20 split squats (on the box) and Bulgarian Lunges (on the box)

(3.a) Stand on one side of a box, with the inner leg on the top of the box and the bottom leg on the floor.  Holding a kettlebell in your hand (I used 16kg), lower down into a squat.  Lift back up until your bottom leg is straight.  Repeat for 10 reps on the first leg, then switch to the other side.

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(3.b) Stand to the side of the box, facing away from the box.  Put one foot on top of the box, and the other on the ground.  Hold the kettlebell in the same hand as the leg that is on the box.  Lower down until your front thigh is parallel with the ground.  Repeat for 10 reps on the first leg, then switch and repeat for 10 reps on the second leg.

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(4) 2 rounds of 20 reps of Jumping squats and 10 reps jumping lunges

You can do these using bodyweight, or holding a 5-12.5 lb weight.

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